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With a stroke of a pen, millions more children now have health care.
President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP) tonight, which renews and expands the plan from 7 million children affected to 11 million.
"This is only the first step," he said. "As I see it, providing coverage for 11 million children is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American."
We'll have more on CHIP tomorrow, but there's one more thing worth noting -- President Obama is sending a new message, loud and clear, to opponents of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
It came first in remarks this afternoon, following an announcement of strict new executive compensation rules:
"In the past few days I've heard criticisms that this plan is somehow wanting, and these criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care; that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive. I reject those theories. And so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay. No plan is perfect, and we should work to make it stronger. No one is more committed to making it stronger than me. But let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential. Let's show people all over the country who are looking for leadership in this difficult time that we are equal to the task."
He made similar remarks just a few minutes ago as he signed the CHIP Act.